Skip to main content

A Long Time in Politics

Looking back through this weblog, I see that at the end of last month, six years had passed since the front door of No10 Downing Street closed behind me.

I was seeing Ed Richards that morning. He was the senior policy advisor to Tony Blair and I had been asked along to talk about ideas for the new "Broadband Britain." Since then of course, Ed has been made Chief Executive of OFCOM and I've become a member of the Conservative Party.

Something changed in Government after 2002. In some ways it resembled George Orwell's story, Animal Farm and today, after a decade of the same Government, it is far more pronounced and indeed visible to the broader population. Peter Hitchin, in his book, 'The Abolition of Britain' started to worry about this cultural revolution as far back as 1999 and I really started to notice its influence in the corridoors of power in 2002. Things were not quite as they seemed in the new politics and I doubt they will ever be the same again.

We are all part of a great social experiment with nothing comparable since perhaps 1066. Six years ago, the writing was on the wall but today you read all about it in the newspapers; the legacy of a series of grand plans that have, in the opinion of many, Bishops, editors and politicians alike, contributed to the growing notion of a broken society.

Who would have thought it six years ago? It's a very long time in politics if you count it in Ministers and Prime Ministers past.

Popular posts from this blog

Median Saleh

I mentioned in the last post, the 1981 expedition that took in Median Saleh, the ruined Nabatean city in Saudi Arabia


A temple carved from the rock from Petra's sister city.

By coincidence, one of the most important train stations on the Hejaz railway sat next to the ruins and when Lawrence of Arabia blew the line in 1917, the trains were trapped there and are still there today, gathering dust and with "Krupp" on the engine casings.


One of the trains, sitting where T.E. Lawrence left themwith Dr Paul Garnett as the passenger

Below, you can see one of the fortified train stations that Lawrence attacked along the Hejaz railway between Damascus and Medina.



More photos Medain Saleh can be found on THIS Site - Apparently you can catch a tourist bus these days, rather different from risking life and limb to cross an unfriendly Saudi Arabia twenty years ago!
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

A Matter of Drones - Simon Moores for The Guardian

I have a drone on my airfield” – a statement that welcomes passengers to the latest dimension in air-travel disruption. Words of despair from the chief operating officer of Gatwick airport in the busiest travel week of the year. Elsewhere, many thousands of stranded and inconvenienced passengers turned in frustration to social media in an expression of crowd-sourced outrage.

How could this happen? Why is it still happening over 12 hours after Gatwick’s runways were closed to aircraft, why is an intruder drone – or even two of them – suspended in the bright blue sky above the airport, apparently visible to security staff and police who remain quite unable to locate its source of radio control?

Meanwhile, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, overtaken by both the technology and events, is reduced to sending out desperate tweets warning that an airport incursion is a criminal offence and that drone users should follow their new code of conduct. Yet this is not an unforeseen event. It was i…